Ministry of Defense (MoD) on Sunday rejected allegations that prisoners are being mistreated in Bagram Prison by prison guards and personnel.
Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mohammad Sharif Yaftali said Bagram Prison is equipped with standard facilities and medical services and there is no problem in this regard.
Yaftali’s remarks come after comments on Saturday by the family of jailed Khalilullah Frozi, the former CEO of the old Kabul Bank. They said he had health problems and that he was not getting the right treatment in prison.
The family also said they had not been able to visit him in seven months and were forced to pay $300 to guards to allow them take an onion to Frozi.
Yaftali said the claims made by Frozi’s family are baseless.
“They said they have paid $100 to take in an onion which is not correct, and I reject it. The activities of the prison’s personnel are monitored by the investigative, intelligence and security departments,” said Yaftali.
Members of the commercial sector said terrorists and insurgents should be kept in different jails to that of white collar criminals.
“They (Frozi) are being kept in prisons where there are terrorists and insurgents,” Khan Agha Rezaie, a member of the International Chamber of Commerce said.
Concerns were raised over the conditions in Bagram Prison following the sudden death of Sherkhan Farnood, the former chairman of the old Kabul Bank, in the prison.
Based on the country’s law, the responsibility of all prisons falls under the interior ministry, but the interior ministry says that Bagram Prison is the exception and falls under the defense ministry.
“Bagram Prison does not belong to the interior ministry and the ministry is not involved in its affairs,” Shahmir Amirpor, interior ministry’s advisor on prisons said.
Although the defense ministry said there are no problems in the prison, Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) disagreed.
“Bagram Prison is being run in a special manner. There are problems in the prison and it is getting crowded day by day. It is not built in line with prison standards and it is mostly built in accordancewith the standards of detention,” AIHRC spokesman Bilal Sediqqi said.
AIHRC said they recently signed an agreement with the Security Council to monitor the status of prisoners at Bagram.
The responsibility of Bagram Prison was handed over to the Afghan government by the US troops in 2013.